Sunday, November 21, 2010

System overload and my next plans

I am afraid I need to step back and take a breath.
It has been an exciting ride: from the Building Online Community Course to the Global Ed conference, jumping into Twitter and then to blogging, checking out a myriad of resources at different organizations such as Get Ideas. Joining a couple of Ning communities. Establishing a Wiki for the online Microbiology course I am teaching. Participating in the "Office Hours" about Building a classroom without walls.
It feels strange to live virtually in a vibrant community of visionaries of education, and then go back to class and have a reality check. 
I had a Saturday class today and I made my students do the Hemoblobin dance. I asked them to become oxygens, hydrogens, and carbon dioxides, changing partners as they became first carbonic acid and then bicarbonate and H+. Hemoblobins and a carbonic anhydrase hovered around, and I hope that they will remember that when we talk next week about respiratory acidosis. One of my first experiences with plays in class was meiosis. I made students become sister chromatids, and for crossing-overs I made them do footsies. Much later a student told me that this was something she never forgot. For the first time I also set up the Immune System role play. The B cell expanding into a plasma cell and spitting out antibodies was clearly enjoying her role, just like the cytotoxic T-cell causing apoptosis of a virus-infected cell. 
In the meantime, I am gearing up for the next phase- the big revamp of my January class, a f2f class, into a blended course with minimal lecturing and lots of lab and group activities. 
But what I am really looking forward to is a trip to Zion National Park next week! I don't think that this is the right time to hike the Narrows, but at least I would like to peek at the beginning of the trail...

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